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  • Featured ImageStar Wars 007 – Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You’re My Only Hope!

    WARNING: This review contains potential spoilers for those who have not seen the Star Wars films.

     

    Star Wars issue 007 was released by Marvel Comics on July 29, 2015. This is a one-off flashback story starring Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    Star Wars issue 007 was released by Marvel Comics on July 29, 2015. This is a one-off flashback story starring Obi-Wan Kenobi.

     

    The Force is with Marvel Comics.

    Having reclaimed the rights to make Star Wars comics from Dark Horse, 2015 has seen no shortage of releases set in everyone’s favorite Galaxy Far, Far Away, with many triumphs. Multiple series are now ongoing, and those age-old Star Wars fans wanting new stories featuring their favorite characters, locales, and beings have gotten them and then some. With the purge and relaunch of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, these comic stories have been leading the charge and achieving impressive sales figures and reviews alike.

    To date, there have been five Star Wars comic series in the new Marvel line. These are Star Wars (the main comic series), Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Kanan: The Last Padawan, and Lando. Princess Leia just finished its five-issue run, while the others are still ongoing. Series based on Chewbacca and ones leading into Episode VII: The Force Awakens (the new forthcoming theatrical movie) are planned for the future as well.

     

    Like other Marvel Star Wars comic releases, this one features a number of collectable variant covers, including this one.
    Like other Marvel Star Wars comic releases, this one features a number of collectable variant covers, including this one.

     

    The main Star Wars series, thus far, has been set between Episode IV: A New Hope (the original 1977 film) and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (this is the same time frame occupied by the majority of the other series as well). To date, the main series has been an ongoing story continuing the story in that time frame, and the struggles of the Rebel Alliance against the evil Galactic Empire. Star Wars 007 (the seventh issue in the series) departs from the format of the “Skywalker Strikes” stories in previous issues.

     

    Following the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi went into hiding on the desert world of Tatooine.
    Following the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi went into hiding on the desert world of Tatooine.

     

    Emperor Palpatine has issued Order 66, resulting in nearly every member of the Jedi Order being hunted down and killed. Anakin Skywalker has fallen to the Dark Side, becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan Kenobi went into exile on Tatooine following this series of events, watching over young Luke Skywalker as he grew up in the care of his adoptive aunt and uncle. Kenobi has put away his lightsaber and vowed to do his part to be a silent onlooker, not wanting to draw attention to himself and those on the planet. But when reckless gangsters in the employ of Jabba the Hutt begin extorting taxes on the moisture farmers, the former Jedi Master must decide whether to remain in the shadows, or to act. When young Skywalker wanders into the path of these thugs as they approach the Lars Homestead, Kenobi is forced to make that difficult decision.

     

    During his stay on Tatooine, Obi-Wan watched over a young Luke Skywalker from afar, who was being raised by his adoptive aunt and uncle, who almost needless to say did not want the young boy to train to be a Jedi or leave the moisture farm to embark on any dangerous tasks
    During his stay on Tatooine, Obi-Wan watched over a young Luke Skywalker from afar, who was being raised by his adoptive aunt and uncle, who almost needless to say did not want the young boy to train to be a Jedi or leave the moisture farm to embark on any dangerous tasks.

     

    A few years ago, the “Ben Kenobi on Tatooine after Episode III” story was covered in a novel called Kenobi by John Jackson Miller. That was a solid novel, since purged from the Star Wars canon, along with all of the old Expanded Universe content. It was a solid book with an interesting story, though I will admit it had too many characters and subplots. The Star Wars comic series’ take on this same time period (and the one that is canon in the new continuity) is more streamlined, simplistic, and to the point. And perhaps most importantly, fun to read.

    When you are doing a one-off story dealing with a classic character like Kenobi, there is a lot that you have to convey and accomplish in a single comic book. I am pleased to announce that these talented artists and writers have accomplished those goals here. We get a sense of Kenobi’s emotions, as well as his sense of confusion and uncertainty following the fall of the Jedi Order, yet also see him remain optimistic for the future and the day when he will introduce young Luke Skywalker to the Force. The Jabba thugs are fairly simplistic, one-dimensional characters but serve their purpose; this is Kenobi’s tale first. Readers see Kenobi struggling with his post-Jedi life, and it makes for one of the more intriguing Star Wars stories to date.

    I (and apparently millions of others!) have been satisfied with nearly all of Marvel’s new Star Wars tales, and this one-off focusing on a post-Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan Kenobi makes for some interesting reading. No fan of Star Wars should pass this story up; there are some great and gripping moments in its short but involving duration. Strongly recommended!

     

    All images used in this review are the property of their respective copyright holders, including (but not limited to) George Lucas, LucasFilm, Disney, Marvel Comics, and 20th Century Fox.



  • Featured ImageIron Maiden – A Look Back at the Legendary British Metal Act’s First Two Albums!

    Iron Maiden's first two albums featured vocalist Paul Di'Anno, prior to the hiring of Bruce Dickinson.
    Iron Maiden’s first two albums featured vocalist Paul Di’Anno, prior to the hiring of Bruce Dickinson.

     

     

    With a new Iron Maiden album due out in September (their first new studio effort in five years) this fan thought it was time to take a look back at where it all begin for this legendary classic heavy metal band. Before the epic and wild classic years with Bruce Dickinson at the helm. Before The Number of the Beast. Before international heavy metal superstardom.

    Prior to Bruce Dickinson becoming Iron Maiden’s vocalist, the group was considerably rawer and less refined, only to begin working towards the more “epic” heavy metal sound that they would become known for all the world round. Building a name for themselves on the British club scene, the early incarnation of Iron Maiden began winning fans over with their dual lead guitar arrangement and inventive, captivating songwriting, ranging from epic themes to more risqué and disturbing ones. Following the release of The Soundhouse Tapes, the band’s debut EP, they would be signed and enter a studio to record an album; the self-titled debut from the band was released in 1980. It was followed by the sophomore album, Killers, in 1981, which featured production from the legendary Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath).

    In their early period and prior to the studio releases with Bruce Dickinson, Paul Di’Anno fronted the band. Di’Anno had a tough, punky image which helped him make all the more of an impact on the live stage, and a distinctive voice that definitely gave the band the stage presence they needed to stand out amongst literally hundreds of other New Wave of British Heavy metal (NWOBHM) bands that were also trying to make their big break. Eventually fired from the band due to his inability and lack of desire to perform on tours, Di’Anno continued on in a number of other musical projects, though none of them approached the popularity of those first two Iron Maiden albums. To this day, there are many loyalists of the NWOBHM that prefer the pair of albums he recorded with Iron Maiden over those that Bruce Dickinson cut with the group on their ascendency.

     

    Iron Maiden's self-titled debut was released in 1980.
    Iron Maiden’s self-titled debut was released in 1980.

     

    When Iron Maiden went into the studio to record their first album in 1980, the band consisted of vocalist Paul Di’Anno, guitarists Dave Murray and Dennis Stratton, bassist Steve Harris, and drummer Clive Burr (who passed away in 2013). Of those five men, only Murray and Harris have appeared on all of the band’s studio albums. This was Dennis Stratton’s only recording with the band; he was let go from the group for creative differences following the record’s release. The package here is far rawer than later efforts and the production has been an source of contention for years, however many fans and critics alike still respect it. In fact, many of these songs are still played live by the band to this day.

    The songs on Iron Maiden’s first album are very raw and more representative of the NWOBHM as a whole than the band that they would later become with Bruce Dickinson at the helm. Despite that, the talent of the band and its members becomes apparent right from day one. The album starts off with “Prowler,” a gritty, raw rocker about a sexual predator. Follow-up track “Remember Tomorrow” could not be more different, slow and eerie, melodic and gloomy. Of course the song still has its hard and heavy moments and even a lengthy, kick-ass instrumental portion. Another raw rocker follows in the form of “Running Free,” which has remained a live staple of the band’s set to this day, often used to close out concerts. The strongest song on the album is “Phantom of the Opera,” featuring the perfect mixture of heavy and melodic elements, and some of the best songwriting on the record. A lengthy instrumental section in the middle of the song stands as something of a premonition of things to come for the band down the road, and helps this track to maintain a unique feel. The instrumental “Transylvania” changes the sound once again, leading into another gloomy and melodic track in the form of “Strange World,” one of the band’s more unique and unusual songs, but one that reigns as no less excellent. A return to the raw and punky comes in the form of “Charlotte the Harlot,” the band’s first in a series of anthems about their favorite prostitute and what she does best. Closing out the debut is the band’s eponymous track, which is a brief but solid and epic cut that closes it all out in fine form. Raw as it may be compared to later outings, there is not a single weak track on the record!

     

    Killers is the second album from the band, released in 1981, and is Di'Anno's last with the group.
    Killers is the second album from the band, released in 1981, and is Di’Anno’s last with the group.

     

    Following the release of the band’s first album and the replacement of Dennis Stratton with Adrian Smith, the group recorded and released Killers in 1981. This album, while it still did not quite garner the international attention that the band would eventually gain, it did allow the band to embark upon their first tour of America, which started at the old Aladdin Hotel’s theater in Las Vegas, opening for Judas Priest. It was not long after this tour being underway that the band would part ways with Paul Di’Anno, recruiting former Samson singer Bruce Dickinson. And the rest is history.

    So, how do the songs on Killers fare? This marked Iron Maiden’s first step in a more mature and epic direction, something that would be more fully realized in the era of Bruce Dickinson at the helm. In many ways, this album marked the birth of the “true” Iron Maiden sound, something that was only very loosely hinted at on the first record. And it does not waste any time getting down to business, as any fan knows. Opening instrumental “The Ides of March” builds an ominous mood, and immediately launches into “Wrathchild,” one of the best straight-up rockers that the band ever recorded, having you banging your head in no time flat! “Murders in the Rue Morgue” is a great mixture of hard rock riffs and an intriguing storyline regarding a man falsely accused of killing women. We get additional solid rockers in the form of “Another Life” and “Innocent Exile,” and even another instrumental in the form of “Genghis Khan.” The title cut features one of Paul Di’Anno’s best vocal performance and remains revered as a raw classic from his era with the band. “Prodigal Son” is one of Iron Maiden’s most unusual songs, surprisingly slow and melodic. It feels totally out of place with the rest of the songs on the album; one cannot help but wonder if it would have been better off as a track on a single (possibly a B-Side) than on this record, though. That is not to say the song is not superb in its own way, though! “Purgatory” is one of the band’s best rock songs, featuring an epic sound and packing plenty of musical excitement into its fairly limited duration. We go back to the raw and gritty for closing track “Drifter,” which again remains a favorite of many a Di’Anno-era Maiden fan, finishing things off in the best of ways.

    Both of these albums were remastered and reissued in 1998, and again in 2002 (along with the rest of the Iron Maiden catalogue released to the time). For these reissues, the first album’s cover art was modified and enhanced slightly, giving mascot Eddie glowing eyes for whatever reason. Each reissue featured Enhanced CD content (remember when that was all the rage?) along with an expanded booklet, and the inclusion of one  bonus track from a single release; “Sanctuary” on the first album, and “Twilight Zone” on Killers. For some strange reason these extra songs were included in the middle of the album’s running order rather than at the end where bonus cuts typically go. Earlier 1995 reissues of the albums featured a disc of rare single cuts and B-Sides, but these are long out of print and tough to come by. One cannot help but wish the record label had included more of those cuts as bonuses on the 1998 and 2002 remasters; there was certainly room to include the good majority of them.

    Should you buy Iron Maiden’s first two albums, and are they worth checking out even if you are only familiar with the band’s more popular Bruce Dickinson era? The answer is YES. The band’s early formative period was vital in their growth as a musical unit, and beautifully demonstrates where it all began for them. People that see all of this for themselves come to love these albums and many of the metal anthems that they have to offer; though Di’Anno’s tenure with the band was short lived it did still manage to spawn some excellent music that fans of the band, or hard rock and heavy metal in general, definitely need to check out. Discover the beginnings of Iron Maiden; both albums are highly recommended.

     

     



  • The Return of the Muscat: Brent Muscat’s Vegas All Stars Takes Over the Palms

    Vegas’ beloved co-founder of the well known bands Faster Pussycat and Sin City Sinners, Brent Muscat, has been keeping a low profile around town since his departure from the Sinners in early 2015. After what was called “Brentapalooza” (Muscat’s Birthday Party), he seemed to disappear from the scene a bit.

    On July 25, 2015, we found Muscat playing his glittery silver guitar on the stage of The Lounge inside of the Palms casino. Accompanying him were some other local musicians- or as they would be called in this band, All Stars. The setlist itself seemed kind of schizophrenic, covering everything from Motorhead to the Beatles, and other randoms in between. Nevertheless, it was amazing to see him grace the stage again with that big, boyish grin upon his face.

     

    Faster Pussycat/Sin City Sinners' Brent Muscat.
    Faster Pussycat/Sin City Sinners’ Brent Muscat.

     

    The show started off a bit rocky as the band tried to find their groove together. The All Stars opened up the set with AC/DC’s “Sin City”; a perfect song to start the evening. Beggars and Thieves vocalist Louie Merlino helped open up the show on vocals, and would assist throughout the night playing guitar as well. I’m not saying that the rockiness was due to any lack of talent. These guys are all seasoned musicians, having been in the business collectively between twenty and thirty years. Merlino himself has been featured on numerous records doing backing vocals for artists such as Cher, Alice Cooper, Joan Jett, and Michael Bolton (just to name a few). Following “Sin City” was a classic Led Zeppelin song, “Whole Lotta Love”, off of the Led Zeppelin II album. The band played over each song with as much ease as they could. Once they found their groove, they were absolutely on fire.

     

    Wicked Garden vocalist Dominick Muzio on bass guitar.
    Wicked Garden vocalist Dominick Muzio on bass guitar.

     

    On drums for the evening was former Raging Slab and Sin City Sinners member, Rob “Boom Boom” Cournoyer. Anyone who has seen Cournoyer perform live before knows what a treat this is. He was his usual ball of energy on the kit, with his sticks flying along with his hair. During the All Star’s rendition of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”, he definitely captured the spirit of current Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee, keeping the momentum of the song on an upward rollercoaster of speed. At one point, with Merlino doing his best Lemmy, I noticed Muscat and bassist Dominick Muzio of local 90’s tribute act Wicked Garden exchange a look of “holy shit”. After the song was over, Muzio actually said something to the effect of “How fast were we playing?!” as he shook his wrist out.

     

    Ace Frehley drummer Scot Coogan.
    Ace Frehley drummer Scot Coogan.

     

    Then came the guest All Stars for the evening. Gracing the stage for only one song, Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean”, was Ace Frehley drummer and Six Foot Nurse drummer/vocalist, Scot Coogan. Coogan, although known mostly for his work with Frehley, or even his work alongside Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx in the project Brides of Destruction, is one kick ass Zeppelin performer. His project Six Foot Nurse is actually a tribute to Zeppelin, where Coogan sings while drumming. He is the one person I can say, aside from either Robert Plant himself or Jason Bonham vocalist James Dylan, pulls off Plant not only vocally, but in mannerisms. I would have liked to see him perform more, and I hope to see him with the All Stars in possible future performances.

    Following Coogan was local female vocalist Siana King. King is well known around town for her performances of country music. She also performed at Brentapalooza. A recent Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts graduate, King has made a big name for herself amongst the local music scene. Don’t let her usual country style fool you; this chick can get down on some good old rock n’ roll. The first song King performed with the band was “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes. Following The Ronettes was “Building A Mystery” by Sarah McLachlan as well as a beautiful duet between Muscat and King of the Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran collaboration, “Everything Has Changed”. Then came another duet, this time with Merlino, which happens to be one of my favorites, of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around”. The band laughed a bit, having skipped over the Journey classic, “Don’t Stop Believin'”, but ended up doing the song anyway.

     

    Las Vegas' Siana King and Brent Muscat.
    Las Vegas’ Siana King and Brent Muscat.

     

    The show was full of laughter, making it more intimate. The band interacted with the crowd, especially during the performance of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, which had the entire crowd swaying and singing along.  Even with bumps in the road like not being able to hear Merlino’s acoustic, or Muzio’s microphone stand deciding it wanted to be 2 feet tall, forcing him to practically limbo to do backing vocals, they got through it with ease and smiles. As a spectator, you didn’t really feel like you were at some big insane production. The fact that it was a bunch of old and new friends doing what they loved most… I almost have no words to describe it other than magical.

    The final performer of the evening was London’s Nadir D’Priest. D’Priest opened his set with Judas Priest’s version of the popular Fleetwood Mac song “Green Manalishi”. He performed this at Brentapalooza, and I can honestly say, I could listen to his version over all of the others’ any day of the week. D’Priest has a way of completely taking over the stage when he performs. He just has one of those auras that command your attention. He interacted with each member of the band and even jumped up on the drum riser along Cournoyer at one point. Following “Green Manalishi” were “Oh, Darling” by The Beatles, and I have to say in all my life I don’t think I ever heard the word “fuck” in a Beatles song, but it worked, and Nick Gilder’s “Hot Child in the City”.

     

    London vocalist Nadir D'Priest with Beggars and Thieves vocalist Louie Merlino.
    London vocalist Nadir D’Priest with Beggars and Thieves vocalist Louie Merlino.

     

    After D’Priest’s performance, it was back to the original four who graced the stage. Ending the night with Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas”, the band gave a thank you to the crowd before packing up and joining those still hanging around for hugs and small talk.

    Of course, even though many musicians graced the stage and performed that night, Muscat did perform a couple Faster Pussycat hits, “Bathroom Wall”, which he did vocals on, and “House of Pain”, which was sung by Merlino. Anyone who knows Muscat knows that he is not one of those musicians who is all about himself. He enjoys playing with his friends and other local musicians. After all, we are all a family. Muscat is often called the Godfather of the Vegas Music Scene, and that night was no different. I could go on for hours and hours about how amazing the night was, but the best thing I can say is this; keep an eye out for more Las Vegas All Stars performances.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Brent is back!

     

    All Photos © Stephy Hayward/ ZRock’R Magazine



  • Featured ImageDeep Purple Perfect Strangers Live – The Legendary ’84 Reunion Tour!

    Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers Live was released in fall of 2013, featuring a vintage 1984 Australian concert from the band.
    Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers Live was released in fall of 2013, featuring a vintage 1984 Australian concert from the band.

     

     

    Following several classic records, Deep Purple disbanded. The classic rock greats called it a day, and went on to other things. At this point, rock fans around the world were unsure if the classic Mark II lineup of the band would ever reunite and perform under the Deep Purple moniker again.

    Fans would get their wish in 1984, when this incarnation of the band got back together and released Perfect Strangers, their first studio album with the Mark II lineup since 1973. It was revered as a return to form by fans and critics alike; people were ecstatic that the true Deep Purple was back after a decade. Naturally, a world tour followed.

    This disc features a show from that tour recorded in December of 1984, in Sydney, Australia. Footage from this era is rare, making this all the more anticipated a release for the big Deep Purple fans. This is (to my knowledge) the first legitimate video release of content from this era of the band’s history.

    The band performs a set on this disc nearly two hours in length, mixing tracks from the then new Perfect Strangers record, as well as other Mark II classics. There are even a few unexpected surprises and moments that will definitely appeal to the fans that love the band.

     

    Setlist for the show.
    Setlist for the show.

     

    As the most complete and comprehensive live document of the Mark II Deep Purple reunion and the subsequent Perfect Strangers tour, this disc is an amazing piece of rock history, and it is criminal that the world did not have access to this material sooner. Many thanks to Eagle Rock for giving this material the attention it deserved!

    There have been many interesting points in the history of Deep Purple, but this era is one that definitely needed emphasis on a home video release. The setlist is a great mixture of old and (then) new alike, and the solos and prolonged jams are some of the best moments; an extended Jon Lord keyboard solo is one of the truly epic moments here and serves as a fitting tribute to him. The whole band is in the best of spirits, and Ian Gillan’s singing voice was still very good at this point (you’ll never see him attempt “Child in Time” these days!) Even Gillan himself pounds away at some tribal-style drums during some of the lengthier instrumental breaks!

    The video quality on this disc is good overall, though the show was presumably shot on standard definition video, and thus shows its age in that regard. The footage itself is in good shape though, free of any negative anomalies or blemishes. I have no issues with the audio either; the disc sounds fantastic throughout. As an added bonus, a 30-minute tour interview is included as well.

    There are several Deep Purple home video releases, some may argue that there are too many. But this was an era that was devoid of any prior release and very much needed for the fans. This is the group in their time of reawakening, ready to take on the world all over again, and in many ways the last big hurrah for the true “classic” version of the band. The video quality never ascends to any true heights of greatness but does not look weak either, and the audio gets the job done. Plus, the bonus interview is a nice extra as well. Highly recommended to any fan of the band!

     

     



  • Featured ImageScorpions Moment of Glory – Rocking Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic!

    Eagle Rock released Scorpions: Moment of Glory Live in 2013, as one of its first SD Blu-ray releases.
    Eagle Rock released Scorpions: Moment of Glory Live in 2013, as one of its first SD Blu-ray releases.

     

     

    Rock and orchestra experiments are nothing new; it seems like something that continues to be attempted over the years by assorted acts in various genres. The Scorpions surprised the world in 2000 when they recorded Moment of Glory with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, rerecording and revisiting some classic tunes with classical style accompaniment; many of the revisited songs proved to be surprisingly effective. The band took their show on the road, and one of these gigs was recorded and given a home video release. Eagle Rock has now released this show, recorded in June 2000, on SD Blu-ray Disc. The band, of course, features long time members Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, and Mattias Jabs, joined by bassist Ralph Rieckermann and drummer James Kottak (formerly of Kingdom Come). Christian Kolonovits conducts the orchestra.

    Eagle Rock has begun doing “SD Blu-ray” releases recently, which may seem like something of a misnomer at first glance. However, there are a few things to take into consideration with the label doing these releases that may not be immediately obvious:

    -You cannot do an HD video release for something that was not shot in HD (for example, shot on video tape rather than on film or digitally). However, Blu-ray Disc is an uncompressed format, which still at least helps to alleviate many of the anomalies associated with a compressed DVD presentation (artifacting, aliasing, etc.) even if the presentation remains standard definition in terms of video quality.

    -Blu-ray Disc allows for an uncompressed audio track, which is not possible on a compressed video format like DVD.

    -This marks a major step towards Blu-ray Disc becoming the standard for the home video industry.

    Essentially, this marks a concert the Scorpions did in the wake of the Moment of Glory studio album release, accompanied by a full orchestra and (on select tracks) a children’s choir. The majority of the tracks on here are reworkings of older Scorpions songs, given a radical transformation through the band playing in unison with an orchestra, although a few new tracks that were introduced on the studio album are played here as well, including the title track. Special guests include Lyn Liechty, 1990s Genesis vocalist Ray Wilson, Zucchero, and several others.

     

    Tracklist for the concert.
    Tracklist for the concert.

     

    Let me start by saying that if you are a casual Scorps fan or you only know a few of the biggest hits, this is definitely NOT the home video release for you. This is a concert for the established fanbase, and it definitely veers away from the band’s traditional style of performance. While the show is not “boring” by any stretch of the imagination, it is more intimate and less “wild” on stage than the band is known for being when performing in their traditional straight-up rock style. Newbies to the band will be left tilting their heads in confusion on this disc, though age-old Scorps fans will love seeing the band trying their hand at something new and unusual.

    The performance here makes full use of the orchestral arrangements and this brings a new and interesting musical sound to the classic hits. You will see for yourself that the band’s experiment here definitely pays off musically when you watch and listen to this presentation. “Hurricane 2000,” the band’s orchestral reworking of “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” kicks off this show in the finest form, reinventing one of the band’s biggest hits in a powerful new format. Throughout the evening, the group is even accompanied by a children’s choir on some tracks, and other assorted guest stars. It is more intimate than a traditional Scorpions show, and it is likely the established fanbase is going to like what they see and hear here for the duration of the 90 minute performance.

    Unfortunately, the video quality on this disc is absolutely atrocious. I did not expect something called “SD Blu-ray” to look razor sharp and like the best of what HD has to offer, but here we have a dull presentation that is riddled with artifacts and aliasing, particularly in the long shots. Some close-up and overhead shots look very good, but overall there are more faults than qualities with the visual aspect of this disc; presenting it on Blu-ray should have done away at least with the anomalies. Audio fares better and there are no substantial complaints in that department.

    One major complaint with the disc, however, is the lack of English subtitles when Klaus Meine is addressing the audience. He speaks in German to them, as this is a show in Germany. How they could not include subtitles for these portions of the show is beyond me; it does get tedious listening to him talk in a foreign language and having no idea what he is saying during these passages.

    Bonus features on the disc consist of an interview with the band and three music videos. The bonus material is pretty thin here, though fans will definitely want to watch it all at least once.

    Should you buy this Moment of Glory live disc? That is a tough question. Die-hard fans of the band who dug this experiment on the studio album will definitely want to see it live on a stage, but the poor video quality derails it. Similarly, more casual fans of the group are not going to enjoy the more intimate and experimental nature of the show. So whether or not you should buy this disc depends on who you are. Get it if you are a die-hard Scorpions fan or completist. If you are anyone else, a rental will suffice.